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cruciferous
25 January 2010 @ 01:15 pm
The brilliant activist Naomi Clark recently prepared the materials below for a political educationi session about Haiti at SRLP's winter retreat. I thought others might want to use them to do similar sessions at your school, job, church, family event, dinner party, etc. She had them prepared as two pages: the timeline page and the quotes and questions page. Thanks, Naomi!

HAITI: Brief Historical Summary

1492 Over a million of the Taino & Arawak peoples live on the island of Hispaniola. Christopher Columbus arrives and leaves a crew there to start a settlement. He comes back a year later to find the settlement destroyed by mistreated Taino locals.

1503 The Spanish governor orders the execution of Queen Anacaona of the Taino. Her people are slaughtered. Within two decades, only 5-10% of the original Taino population are left, decimated by genocide and smallpox.

1520s Spain starts to lose interest in Hispaniola as there’s more gold elsewhere. Pirates start to use the island of Tortuga as a base.

1577 Spain orders 15,000 African slaves to be shipped to Hispaniola to serve as a labor force, and sugar plantations start to take over as the main industry.

1664 France claims the western half of the island.

1750s Slaves start escaping and forming villages in the mountains, raiding the French.

1787 More than 40,000 Africans are brought in as slaves every year, totaling 500,000 serving under a white population of 32,000 on 8,000 plantations and supplying more than half of Europe with sugar, coffee, and cotton.

1789 The French Revolution overthrows monarchy there. The next year, mulattos in Haiti begin to agitate for the same political rights as white citizens. Unrest breaks out between whites, mulattos and free blacks who opposed abolition, and slaves wanting freedom.

1793 French general Sonthonax proclaims the slaves in Haiti free, in a limited way, and arms the slaves.

1798 Toussaint L’Overture, a freed slave, unites the country against the French and is in control by 1801. A year later, he is captured by the French and soon dies in a French prison.

1803 Haiti declares independence, becoming the second republic in the Western Hemisphere and the first run by people of African descent. Meanwhile, a United States force invades and steals Haiti’s financial reserves.

1805 French diplomat Talleyrand convinces the United States to embargo Haiti and refuse to recognize it as a country, which it does (along with European nations) until 1862.

1820 The French park warships offshore and threaten to invade and institute slavery unless Haiti pays reparations of 150 million gold francs. The amount is later reduced to 90 million since Haiti cannot pay without taking loans from French banks. It takes until 1947 to pay off all the debt. (2.5 billion in today’s US$)

1824 Over 6000 free blacks from the United States immigrate to Haiti, promoted by the Haitian government.

1843 A period of riots, transitional governments, and military rule begins.

1867 A new constitutional government restores order, and a period of economic and cultural prosperity begins.

1911 German nationals control a large portion of Haiti’s economy, which worries the US. The US government backs a consortium of investors which takes over Haiti’s national bank.

1915 The United States invades in order “to protect American and foreign interests” and sets up a mulatto-run government under its control. The US builds a lot of infrastructure, and Americans occupy a “Millionaire’s Row” in the capital.

1934 Due to criticism of exclusion of Haitians from power and the failing economy of the Great Depression, the US allows democratic elections and withdraws its military forces. Haiti remains under US financial control, however, until 1947.

1957 Francois Duvalier gains power and after a few years declares himself dictator for life. Under his repressive government, 30,000 Haitians are killed while Duvalier supporters grow rich. The United States embargoes Haiti yet again.

1971 Duvalier dies after naming his 19-year-old son as successor. The new regime is backed by US and European interests.

1990 Liberation theologian and Catholic priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide is elected in a free election. His radical populist policies alarm the elite classes. He is ousted a year later in a coup thought to be backed by the US under Bush Sr.

1994 After several years of human rights abuses under a military dictatorship, the Clinton administration threatens military action in “Operation Restore Democracy” and has Aristide reinstated--on the condition he allows Haitian industry to be privatized and only stays in office for two years.

1996 Rene Preval, an Aristide ally, is elected, but then has a split from Aristide, who forms a new party.

2000 Opposing parties in Haiti clash over election irregularities and accusations of US-backed fraud. Aristide is re-elected but accused of stealing the vote by international media, and of corruption, drug trafficking, and even voudoun baby-eating by opponents.

2004 Anti-Aristide riots break out into rebellion. Aristide accuses foreign powers include the US of instigating a coup and kidnapping him to the Central African Republic. Aristide opponents accuse him of embezzling millions ($US), but nothing is ever proven.

2006 Preval is re-elected (and is still president).

2010 A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits Haiti and levels the capital. The United States and the international community respond with promises of aid, as do many large NGOs.

Thanks to the L’overture Project, HaitiAction.net, the Telegraph, Jafrikayiti, and Jean Saint-Vil for historical references.

DISCUSSION: QUOTES ABOUT HAITI
The existence of a negro people in arms, occupying a country which it has soiled by the most criminal acts, is a horrible spectacle for all white nations.
- Charles Talleyrand, the most influential French diplomat of the time, in an 1805 letter to James Madison where he urged the US to blockade Haiti

I can give a press release and say that I've just saved your life, and you could be six feet under the ground. Until they discover that you are dead, my press release is what counts. And that is the situation with Haiti. We've been hearing everyone claiming about how they're helping Haiti. I hear organizations bragging about how "you know, we've been here for sixty years." Well yeah, precisely. If you've been here all this time, what has been happening? How come these organizations are getting stronger, bigger, more recognized, yet the people that they're helping are more despreate? And again i'll add that this situation is not limited to Haiti. The first nations people of Canada, if you read the stats, are the most impoverished people in the whole area here. I mean, the suicide rate in the First Nations communities, we all know. I think there is one hospital in all of Nunavut.
Unless we acknowledge that the society in which we live was built on international crimes, that is, white supremacists stealing land of people, the First Nations peoples of the Americas and of Africa. Unless we acknowledge that the time has come to do a paradigm shift and truly invest in human beings -- and that means not making press releases, but rather going in Nunavut and building a real university, building hospitals so that people go to high school and graduate and they themselves take care of themselves. I take the excuse of Nunavut so that people don't take the excuse that Haiti is poor like that, therefore it's a basket case, let's go "save them" while we're not saving our own people here right in Canada, so that credibility is just not there.
- Jean-Saint Vil, Canada Haiti Action, in an interview with Straight Goods News

Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French -- Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, "We will serve you if you will ll get us free from the French.” True story! And so the Devil said "OK, it's a deal" and they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor.
- Televangelist Pat Robertson, shortly after the 2010 earthquake

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a charismatic populist priest, was overthrown by a military coup in 1991, and restored with US help in 1994. But the Americans were always suspicious of any sign of radicalism from this spokesman for the poor and the outcast and kept him on a tight lead. Tolerated by President Clinton, Aristide was treated as a pariah by the Bush administration which systematically undermined him over three years leading up to a successful rebellion in 2004. That was led by local gangsters acting on behalf of a kleptocratic Haitian elite and supported by members of the Republican Party in the US.
So much of the criticism of President Bush has focused on his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that his equally culpable actions in Haiti never attracted condemnation. But if the country is a failed state today, partly run by the UN, in so far as it is run by anybody, then American actions over the years have a lot to do with it.
Haitians are now paying the price for this feeble and corrupt government structure because there is nobody to co-ordinate the most rudimentary relief and rescue efforts. Its weakness is exacerbated because aid has been funnelled through foreign NGOs. A justification for this is that less of the money is likely to be stolen, but this does not mean that much of it reaches the Haitian poor. A sour Haitian joke says that when a Haitian minister skims 15 per cent of aid money it is called "corruption" and when an NGO or aid agency takes 50 per cent it is called "overheads".
- Patrick Cockburn

At the airport, help continues to flow in, not just from the United States but from Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic, among others. This underscores the point that I made to the President this morning: The entire world stands with the government and the people of Haiti, for in Haiti's devastation, we all see the common humanity that we share.
And as the international community continues to respond, I do believe that America has a continued responsibility to act. Our nation has a unique capacity to reach out quickly and broadly and to deliver assistance that can save lives.
That responsibility obviously is magnified when the devastation that's been suffered is so near to us. Haitians are our neighbors in the Americas, and for Americans they are family and friends. It's characteristic of the American people to help others in time of such severe need. That's the spirit that we will need to sustain this effort as it goes forward. There are going to be many difficult days ahead.
To the people of Haiti, we say clearly, and with conviction, you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten. In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you. The world stands with you. We know that you are a strong and resilient people. You have endured a history of slavery and struggle, of natural disaster and recovery. And through it all, your spirit has been unbroken and your faith has been unwavering. So today, you must know that help is arriving -- much, much more help is on the way.
- Obama speeches, January 2010

As Lawrence E. Harrison explained in his book “The Central Liberal Truth,” Haiti, like most of the world’s poorest nations, suffers from a complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences. There is the influence of the voodoo religion, which spreads the message that life is capricious and planning futile. There are high levels of social mistrust. Responsibility is often not internalized. Child-rearing practices often involve neglect in the early years and harsh retribution when kids hit 9 or 10.
We’re all supposed to politely respect each other’s cultures. But some cultures are more progress-resistant than others, and a horrible tragedy was just exacerbated by one of them.
Fourth, it’s time to promote locally led paternalism. In this country, we first tried to tackle poverty by throwing money at it, just as we did abroad. Then we tried microcommunity efforts, just as we did abroad. But the programs that really work involve intrusive paternalism.
These programs, like the Harlem Children’s Zone and the No Excuses schools, are led by people who figure they don’t understand all the factors that have contributed to poverty, but they don’t care. They are going to replace parts of the local culture with a highly demanding, highly intensive culture of achievement — involving everything from new child-rearing practices to stricter schools to better job performance.
It’s time to take that approach abroad, too. It’s time to find self-confident local leaders who will create No Excuses countercultures in places like Haiti, surrounding people — maybe just in a neighborhood or a school — with middle-class assumptions, an achievement ethos and tough, measurable demands.
- David Brooks, the New York Times

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. What kinds of stories has the US media been telling about the current crisis in Haiti, and why? How does this help further the cause of US power?

2. Why should the United States and other economically powerful nations feel like they should assist Haiti? How is this being framed?

3. What intersections of oppression do we see happening in this crisis?


4. How are dominant ideas of “aid” problematic, and how is “aid” being delivered in Haiti right now? Is aid better delivered by NGOs than governments?

5. What are ways that we, as individuals and collectively, can try to effect change or further just causes in a time of crisis for Haiti? How about the rest of the time?
 
 
cruciferous
21 January 2010 @ 01:55 pm
I wrote up this sheet of tips for professors at my school to use and several other people have asked me for it. It is geared toward law school culture, but may be useful for others as well. I thought I'd post it here in case others can make use of it.

Very Basic Tips for Making Class Welcoming for Trans Students

In recent years, cultural, political and legal resistance to the oppression of transgender people has resulted in greater visibility of the issues facing this population and growing recognition of gender identity and expression discrimination. As these issues gain greater attention, and as obstacles to trans people’s participation in education and employment are addressed, we will likely continue to see more trans people coming to law school. These tips may be helpful in ensuring that your classroom is a welcoming place for SU’s trans students and that no unintentional exclusionary practices are occurring.

• Do not call the roll or otherwise read the roster aloud until you have given them a chance to state what they prefer to be called, in case the roster represents a prior name.
• Allow students to self-identify the name they go by, whether they prefer “Ms.” or “Mr.” and what pronouns they prefer. Don’t make assumptions based on what is on the class roster or the student’s appearance. A great way to accomplish this is to pass around a seating chart or sign in sheet and ask them to indicate these three items in writing, and then use it when you call on them or refer to them in class.
• If a student has an old name they do not use that you are aware of because you knew them before they changed it, or because it is on the roster, do not use it or reveal it to others. Well meaning comments like “I knew Gina when she was Bill,” even if meant supportively, reveal what might feel like personal information to the student, and unnecessarily draw attention to their trans identity.
• Set a tone in the classroom of respect. At the beginning of each semester when establishing the guidelines for class (don’t surf the internet while in class, do the reading, etc.) include something like: “It is important that this classroom be a respectful environment where everyone can participate comfortably. One part of respectful behavior is that everyone should be referred to by what they go by. This mean it is important to pronounce people’s names correctly, to refer to them by the pronouns they prefer, etc.” Add in whatever guidelines respect you see as important, but include pronoun usage since people are often unaware of the issue. You can hand out the attached pronoun etiquette sheet to students if you want to give them more information on the issue.
• If you make a mistake about someone’s pronoun, correct yourself. Going on as if it did not happen is actually less respectful than making the correction. This also saves the person who was misidentified from having to correct an incorrect pronoun assumption that has now been planted in the minds of classmates or anyone else who heard the mistake. As professors, especially, it is essential that we model respectful behavior.
• Whether in office hours, when speaking with students in groups, or when speaking with faculty and staff, when someone else makes a pronoun mistake, correct them. It is polite to provide a correction, whether or not the person whose pronoun was misused is present, in order to avoid future mistakes and in order to correct the mistaken assumption that might now have been planted in the minds of any other participants in the conversation who heard the mistake. Allowing the mistake to go uncorrected ensures future uncomfortable interactions for the person who is being misidentified.
• Never ask personal questions of trans people that you would not ask of others. Because of the sensationalist media coverage of trans people’s lives, there is often an assumption that personal questions are appropriate. Never ask about a trans person’s body or medical care, their old name, why or how they know they are trans, their sexual orientation or practices, their family’s reaction to their gender identity or any other questions that are irrelevant to your relationship with them unless they invite you to do so or voluntarily share the information.
• If you meet a student outside the classroom in a setting where they did not already get to self-identify via your seating chart, and you are not sure of the proper pronoun for them, ask. One way to do this is by sharing your own. “I use masculine pronouns. I want to make sure to address you correctly, how do you like to be addressed?” This may seem like a strange thing to do but a person who often experiences being addressed incorrectly may see it as a sign of respect that you are interested in getting it right rather than making assumptions. If you are not sure and do not want to ask, you can also avoid using pronouns—but making a pronoun assumption is the worst option.

Taking it Further

If you want to take your awareness of these issues further, here are some additional ideas to consider.
• Educate yourself about trans history, trans law, and trans resistance. There are wonderful resources on the internet, in addition to many law review articles and books of all kinds. Some great resources for trans law information include the Transgender Law and Policy Institute (www.transgenderlaw.org), The Transgender Law Center (www.transgenderlawcenter.org), the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (www.srlp.org), and the TGI Justice Project (www.tgijp.org).
• Include trans issues on your syllabus, and help your students learn how to talk about these issues respectfully and understand their importance. Important trans legal struggles can be found in tax, trusts and estates, family law, employment, civil rights, criminal law and criminal procedure, administrative law, poverty law, housing, public benefits, torts, etc. These cases might be a chance for students to familiarize themselves with the obstacles facing a community that is severely underserved by the legal profession.
• Think about how gender norms, or ideas about what men and women should be like, might be being enforced in your classroom or in other parts of your life. What does it mean to stand up against the rules of gender, both in the law and in other areas of our lives? How might we be enforcing gender norms on our selves or our loved ones with well-meaning advice or guidance? Exploring these questions can deepen our commitment to gender self-determination for all people and to eliminating coercive systems that punish gender variance.


Pronoun Etiquette

People often wonder how to be polite when it comes to problems of misidentifying another person’s pronoun. Here are some general tips:

1) If you make a mistake, correct yourself. Going on as if it did not happen is actually less respectful than making the correction. This also saves the person who was misidentified from having to correct an incorrect pronoun assumption that has now been planted in the minds of any other participants in the conversation who heard the mistake.
2) If someone else makes a mistake, correct them. It is polite to provide a correction, whether or not the person whose pronoun as misused is present, in order to avoid future mistakes and in order to correct the mistaken assumption that might now have been planted in the minds of any other participants in the conversation who heard the mistake.
3) If you aren’t sure of a person’s pronoun, ask. One way to do this is by sharing your own. “I use masculine pronouns. I want to make sure to address you correctly, how do you like to be addressed?” This may seem like a strange thing to do but a person who often experiences being addressed incorrectly may see it as a sign of respect that you are interested in getting it right.
4) When facilitating a group discussion, ask people to identify their pronouns when they go around and do introductions. This will allow everyone in the room the chance to self-identify and to get each others’ pronouns right the first time. It will also reduce the burden on anyone whose pronoun is often misidentified and may help them access the discussion more easily because they do not have to fear an embarrassing mistake.
 
 
cruciferous
23 December 2008 @ 12:30 am
this conference seems like its going to be really interesting, thought i'd post it early in case anyone wants to put it on their calendar.
http://www.sas.upenn.edu/wstudies/rethinkingsex/speakers.html
 
 
cruciferous
13 November 2008 @ 12:50 pm
This article describes the tragic death of trans activist, Duanna Johnson. I thought you all might want to know about these heartbreaking events.
http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=7831290&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1
 
 
cruciferous
11 November 2008 @ 02:20 pm
Craig and I recently posted a statement and some resources for further reading on Make (also on Facebook as a group called “I still think marriage is the wrong goal.”) I thought this might interest Enough readers who are as dissatisfied by the neoliberal gay agenda as we are.

http://makezine.enoughenough.org/prop8.html
 
 
 
cruciferous
09 November 2008 @ 06:14 pm
hi friends,

first, in a shocking turn of unfortunate events, craig and i lost the domain name for our long time webpage makezine, so we've moved it to makezine.enoughenough.org. sad!

second, i'm working on putting in to writing various conversations i have a lot and thought i'd post this one here in case its of use to anyone else.

Tips for Students Interested in Organizing Conferences

I am contacted by students (often, but not always, law students) who want to put on conferences or other events at their schools, usually about trans issues. I find myself giving the same advice a lot, so I thought I’d write down some of what I say in hopes that I can share this document with them, and perhaps it will be useful to others advising students as well.

First, it is great that you want to organize a conference to help people think about an issue that really needs good thinking done about it. It is important to do this work carefully and well in order to create an event that contributes to the struggles you are interested in and does not have any harmful or unintended consequences that you would want to avoid. Here are some principles and strategies to keep in mind:

• Leadership on all social and political issues should be centered with those who are directly affected. This means that a majority of speakers at your event should be members of that community, not “experts” or “professionals” talking about them. If that community (e.g. trans people, sex workers, prisoners and former prisoners) are severely under represented in your academic/professional field, this means your conference will have to include speakers who are not trained in your academic/professional field—that you elevate this leadership principle over the professional norms in your school/professional field.
• Within any social or political issue, it is essential to center the experiences of those who are most vulnerable to the worst manifestations of the oppression in order to form a full intersectional analysis of the issue. Frequently oppression gets viewed through just one vector (e.g., transphobia, homophobia) and the prime spokespeople on an issue become people who do not experience other vectors of oppression in combination with that one (e.g. white upper class trans people, white upper class gay men), which leads to framings and agendas that fail to challenge, and in fact uphold, white supremacy, sexism, ablism, etc. So whatever the issue you are organizing on, make sure that your choice of speakers and topics centralizes race, class, immigration, sexism and ablism. For example, instead of trans panels focusing on employment rights, marriage, and visibility in the mainstream media, create panels focusing on Medicaid rights, immigration, and imprisonment. Make sure that at least half your speakers are people of color, and that the organizations represented are ones that prioritize those who are most vulnerable rather than using single-issue approaches.
• Let the people you are inviting help plan the event. Your invitees may have key information about what would be the most useful types of conversations, what other speakers who you haven’t thought of will be important for the conversation, etc. If you find a few key speakers who you think represent the above principles, ask for their input about the organizing.
• Be careful not to schedule it against other events that are important to the communities affected by the issue, which might impact their ability to come or make them make a hard choice.
• Use the event to funnel resources toward underfunded organizations/communities. This event is a learning opportunity for students at your school, but what does it do to forward the work of fighting oppression? Can this event be a way to pay honoraria to organizations struggling to keep their doors open to do life-saving work (esp organizations that are governed by people of color, that serve poor communities, that work on issues unpopular with funders and the media)? Ask the speakers what would make the event useful to them—rather than being only a 101 on the issues for students, how can the event be structured to be a place for leaders on this issue to come together and discuss strategy and collaboration?
• Think about how this event can change the institution you are in. Are there oppressive policies and practices within your university that should be addressed, rather than just looking outside? How does your university serve/fail to serve oppressed communities? Can this event help mobilize activism at your school to end transphobic policies in your school, to start a program where your university provides educational opportunities to people in the local prison or jail, to address racist and classist admissions criteria, to support underpaid workers or workers trying to unionize in your school?
• Make your methods of organizing the event inclusive, consensus-building, collaborative and collective. Education has a tendency to push us towards capitalist norms of individualism, self-promotion and competition. Organizing for resistance must be about relationship building, eliminating hierarchy, shifting leadership, making room for new voices, and empowering more people to participate. It is essential to think about who is included in the planning and whose leadership is being emphasized in terms of race, gender, class, national origin, and ability. Think about how to structure your event planning toward anti-oppression principles. It will create more community and shared values on your campus, build more leadership skills in more people, spread out the work and make it more sustainable, and improve the quality of the work because more people will have input. It will also build more durable and stronger structures for any organizing work you are trying to create on campus. A good tool for meeting planning and facilitation is the book On Conflict and Consensus.

Every event we create has the potential to reproduce oppressive systems that exist in our institutions or to be part of building meaningful resistance. Practicing critical thinking and strategizing to discern these opportunities and maximize them is part of learning to be an effective agent for change, and part of contributing to resource redistribution. Good luck organizing a powerful and transformative event!
 
 
cruciferous
10 September 2008 @ 07:48 pm
i thought this zine might interest you about politics of imprisonment and gender in germany: http://october15thsolidarity.info/files/Lockdown_EN_WEB.pdf
also, another resource from the brilliant sarah lamble: THE QUEER, FEMINIST & TRANS POLITICS OF PRISON ABOLITION

Full Version (10.46 MB):
http://www.mediafire.com/?a8kh1ullztg

Compressed Version (1.92 MB)
http://www.mediafire.com/?spducjbhkqp

i hope everyone is gearing up to get yourself to CR10 later this month! criticalresistance.org.
xoxo
 
 
cruciferous
01 August 2008 @ 04:26 pm
****************PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!******************
 
Dear friends,
 
After much excited brainstorming, dialoguing, essay soliciting, and teaching ourselves basic web skills, we are thrilled to announce the official launch of a new website: ENOUGH!
 
ENOUGH is a space for conversations about how a commitment to wealth redistribution plays out in our lives: how we decide what to have, what to keep, what to give away; how we work together to build sustainable grassroots movements; how we challenge capitalism in daily, revolutionary ways.
 
We want this site to be a space for conversation, inspiration, and the creation of ideas. Please read, comment, send us thoughts, submit essays, and join the conversation!
 
Tyrone Boucher and Dean Spade
www.enoughenough.org/
 
 
cruciferous
24 July 2008 @ 01:19 pm
i am supposed to be on a plane to newark and then stockholm (for http://www.stockholmpride.org/en/) but they sent me home from the airport and told me to start over tomorrow and add and extra stop and hope to make it there, so somehow i have a free day! this feels very exciting. things have been busy since i moved to seattle and a bonus day to settle in and get things done and be in the sun is wonderful.
i've been working on putting together my poverty law syllabus for the fall. i discovered that United for a Fair Economy has a really good curriculum about the racial wealth divide that is freely downloadable on their website. full of good tools. i also recommend the PBS film series "Unnatural Causes" which is available through libraries and is very compelling to watch and a great teaching tool about poverty and racism but also an amazing way to teach biopolitics i think. i'll report back on how that goes.
tyrone and i are gearing up to debut the enough website in late july. prepare yourselves to forward our future announcement widely. we're hoping to drum up some excellent conversation.
oh, and here is an article emma forwarded that i thought would be a good tool for talking with people like parents and weird conservative siblings and stuff about what's wrong in the US. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/jul/17/internationalaidanddevelopment.usa
also, if anyone knows, i'm looking for info about the outgames. i was invited to possibly speak at the conference they have alongside it and i don't know the politics of the event so i wondered if anyone has insider info? what should i know about this?
 
 
cruciferous
28 April 2008 @ 02:54 pm
i have a reluctant relationship with the internet, computers, phones, etc., but Nick sent me this article about cognitive surplus that made me feel like at least writing on blogs is better than watching tv.
http://www.herecomeseverybody.org/2008/04/looking-for-the-mouse.html
in that spirit, have a look at craig's new sociology blog. http://blog.cwillse.net. he gets excited when there are lots of visitors.
and the real reason i'm posting: i keep meeting students (grad and undergrad) at different universities and colleges who are working on making their student health services provide trans health care. i am excited about the idea of people coordinating efforts, sharing strategies, and linking their struggles with those of university employees trying to gain coverage. i think that winning coverage from big institutional employers is important because it strengthens our arguments for Medicaid coverage and for coverage under any emerging universal health program we get. (for more on this see nick gorton's new article in sexuality research and social policy). so, i'm encouraging these students to start a list serve about the topic. if you know that such a thing already exists, or if you know of people who should be a part of it, please let me know and i'll pass it along to them.
finally, i'm going to seattle to look for housing this week. if you want to rent me and bridge a two or three bedroom house or part of a house somewhere near seattle university with a yard, let me know.